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ACTIVE SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS. SOME HEALTH CONCERNS: #1. IMPROPER NUTRITION. S uper Sized Portions… Leads to Super Sized Kids. #2. PHYSICAL INACTIVITY IN CHILDHOOD. It is recommended that children be active for 60 – 90 minutes per day for optimal growth and development.


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Some health concerns 1 improper nutrition

S uper sized portions leads to super sized kids
Super Sized Portions… Leads to Super Sized Kids

2 physical inactivity in childhood

  • It is recommended that children be active for 60 – 90 minutes per day for optimal growth and development.

  • 2/3 of children do not meet this requirement. Improving the Health of Canadians, July 2006

  • 84% of adolescents do not meet this requirement.

A crisis

  • 36% of Children & Youth (ages 2-17) in Nfld. and Labrador are overweight or obese.

    • Highest in Canada - Canadian average was 26%.

  • By 2010, almost 50% of children in North America will be overweight. Rebecca Puhl, Yale University

    Where does that leave Nfld. youth???

  • Obesity rates have more than tripled in Canada from 1981 – 1996. Tremblay, CMAJ, 2000, 163(11):1429-33

Early onset of adult diseases type 2 diabetes

  • Very strong risk of:

    • high blood pressure and heart attack,

    • high cholesterol,

    • other complications with circulation, nerves, eyes, and/or pancreas.

  • 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 DiabetesCenter for Disease Control 2003

    - Central Nfld. has the highest rate in Canada.

  • Growth of Diabetes in Children

    • 1990 4% of Diabetics were children

    • 2003 20% of Diabetics were children

    • Presently 45% of new cases are children

Heart disease

  • Heart disease will present 20 years earlier in this age group due to the childhood obesity epidemic.Heart and Stroke Foundation, Feb. 2004

  • Obesity rivals smoking as the main threat to our health. Fat is the new tobacco. The Weight of the World

Cost of inactivity 1999

  • Total direct healthcare cost of $2.1 billion

  • Unsustainable health costs: By 2017, it is estimated that Education & Health will consume 100% of provincial budgets

  • 10% reduction in physical inactivity has the potential to reduce healthcare costs by $150 million per year “

    The Economic Burden of Physical Inactivity in Canada, P.Katzmaryzk, CMAJ 2000”

Our children

  • “ this generation of children will be the first in modern memory whose life expectancy will not exceed that of their parents”

    Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, Oct. 2003

  • Our kids’ life spans are expected to be 2 to 5 years shorter than our own - - because of fat. And the time they will have may be plagued by problems.

    New England Journal of Medicine

The solution

  • Over 90% of type 2 diabetes and 80% of coronary heart disease could be avoided or postponed with good nutrition, regular physical exercise, and the elimination of smoking.

    The Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy

Some schools have reduced overweight in students by 59 in 3 years here s how
Some schools have reduced overweight in students by 59% in 3 years. Here’s how:

  • Healthy lunches and halt to sale of soft drinks (School Food Guidelines)

  • More activity and physical education

  • Health & nutrition education

  • Parental involvement

The need for more activity

  • The Canadian Medical Association has called on governments to implement mandatory physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day during school hours for all school-aged children and youth.

    September, 2007

  • The best strategy for reversing the obesity epidemic is to target the entire population and get people to moderately increase their activity levels. About 15 – 20 minutes per day is sufficient to prevent weight gain from occurring in the first place. Susan Okie, M.D. Fed UP!. 2005

Active schools
ACTIVE SCHOOLS years. Here’s how:

  • Schools can offer a variety of active learning opportunities on a daily basis throughout the school year:

    - a quality Physical Education program,

    - Intramural activities for all students to participate,

    - 20 min. of physical activity on non-gym days (DPA),

    - Inter-school sport programs,

    - School wide events (Terry Fox Run, Living Healthy Commotions, Stepping Out)

    - Active Recess, a program to increase physical activity, promote fair play, and promote leadership on school playgrounds.

The benefits of active recess

  • Increased activity levels

  • Promote fair play

  • Reduced bullying and aggressive behaviors on the playground

  • Promote student leadership and creativity

  • Promote conflict resolution and problem solving skills

  • Help students become independent in directing their own play activity

  • Promote fun and participation.

Activity achievement
ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT years. Here’s how:

  • Exercise is seen as the priming pump for students’ academic strides… The exercise itself doesn’t make you smarter, but it puts the brain of the learners in the optimal position for them to learn.

    ASCD,Education Week, Feb. 13, 2008

Activity achievement1
ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT years. Here’s how:

  • In British Columbia, Action Schools spent less time on curricular activities, but they performed just as well academically as children in Usual Practice Schools.Action Schools! BC 2004

Activity achievement2
ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT years. Here’s how:

  • Time spent in physical education does not detract from elementary school students’ ability to excel in the classroom and may even help to improve girls’ academic performance.

    Susan Carlson, Journal of Amercican Public Health, USA Today, March, 2008

Activity achievement3
ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT years. Here’s how:

  • Physical education is linked to academic achievement for both physiological and behavioral reasons. Exercise programs can:

    • Provide increased blood flow to the brain,

    • Foster positive classroom behaviors.

      This may enable better classroom participation and concentration skills and decrease disruptive behavior, which would result in improved learning.

      Susan Carlson, Journal of Amercican Public Health, USA Today, March, 2008

Activity achievement4
ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT years. Here’s how:

  • A recent study of 33 Ontario schools involved in a healthy living initiative (students exercise every day, play extra sports, and are discouraged from eating junk food) saw overall scores climb by 18 %over two years in reading, writing, and math. This compares to a growth of 4 % for similar schools not in the health program. Principals also said there were fewer fights and better attendance. “Children don’t become brighter because they’re physically active, but they are less tired, less agitated, less stressed, and less sick. Physically active kids are in a better condition for learning.”

    Professor G. Fishburne, University of Alberta (Globe and Mail, Jan 2007)

Staff discussion
STAFF DISCUSSION years. Here’s how:

  • Feedback from staff

  • Volunteers for implementation team

  • Recruitment of student leaders

  • Training session(s) for student leaders

  • Teaching students the playground games

  • Preparing the playground area

  • Playground equipment

  • Safety issues and supervision

  • Promotion (launch day assembly, posters, media, parent session, announcements)

Bill allan school health promotion consultant western school district 637 4021 bill allan@wnlsd ca

Bill Allan, years. Here’s how:

School Health Promotion Consultant,

Western School District, 637-4021,